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Culture

Free film screening: Rebel Dykes
closeUp, Culture

Free film screening: Rebel Dykes

Celebrate the start of LGBT+ History Month with a free screening of the fabulous documentary REBEL DYKES plus short film OLDER THAN WHAT? Newham Community Cinema presents a celebration of LGBT+ culture on film with curated conversations and special guests brought to you free by Newham Council and in partnership with Women Over Fifty Film Festival. Rebel Dykes is a glorious post-punk roar of lesbian energy. With a mash-up of animation, archive footage and interviews, the documentary tells the story of the radical dyke scene in the late 1980s. Meeting at Greenham Common, the found family of friendships and lovers moved largely to south London squats and found their energy in BDSM nightclubs, sex-positive partying and political activism. With a superb soundtrack and a cheeky sense of hu...
Son of Saul – a film to watch on Holocaust Memorial Day
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Son of Saul – a film to watch on Holocaust Memorial Day

Mark Holocaust Remembrance Day by watching Son of Saul, an intense, brutal but enriching film which puts you right in the shoes and soul of a Jewish concentration camp prisoner. This brilliant film from Hungarian director László Nemes won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2016. It follows Saul Ausländer (a magnificent performance from Géza Röhrig), who is in the Sonderkommando, the cadre of Jewish prisoners forced to assist in the machinery of the Nazi camps. During the course of his ‘work’, he finds the corpse of a boy he is sure is his son, and is determined to save the body from the flames and to find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish and give the boy a proper burial. While around him there is a plot by some prisoners to rise up against the camp guards, Saul i...
Holocaust Memorial Day: the exercise of Remembering to Honour.
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Holocaust Memorial Day: the exercise of Remembering to Honour.

We remember… We are a people marked by the atrocities the hand of history has so unreluctantly laid bear our suffering. On January 27th, we all grieve together the loss of our loved ones and our people. We grieve those who entire generations have been wiped out and remember their names by lighting a candle, for the Jewish people are and will remain united by blood and by history. My family like so many others found themselves diminished to two or three survivors and those were the lucky ones. My mother’s side were a prosperous Portuguese Jewish family residing in Amsterdam, Holland. They were part of a historical community where tradition was valued, family was loved and religion was observed. The Okker’s came to Amsterdam as they were forced to flee Portugal - they were not strangers ...
Shoah: when remembering gives us hope for a better future.
closeUp, Culture, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Society

Shoah: when remembering gives us hope for a better future.

For many of us, YomHaShoa - or day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Shoha - is a sad, almost mournful time every year. But then… why is it important to remember if it can hurt so much? As a gay and Jewish person, Remembering (and honouring) the victims of the Shoah is something I do almost every day, it is a good exercise for the memory, but also for my own sense of thankfulness: how lucky are we to be living in so much comfort and peace, in our houses, now? Certainly one could say that we do still have that feeling of “something’s still missing in my life”… but hey! We are here, we are safe, we are alive, and - again - in the full comfort of our own houses. My Grandmother - when still alive - used to remind me of how during deportation she had to flee her city, her parents escaped a...
Film recommendation – Steelers
closeUp, Culture

Film recommendation – Steelers

Start your week with a sporting endeavour – which also explores mental health and the importance of community. STEELERS (currently on Amazon Prime) tells the story of the ‘world’s first gay rugby club’, which was set up in 1995 in London’s Kings Cross. There are now 60 such clubs around the world and every two years they gather for the world tournament of gay rugby, the Bingham Cup. The film is made by one of the club’s former players, Australian reporter Eammon Ashton-Atkinson, who decided to document his team’s endeavours after a concussion meant he couldn’t play. He himself found the club when he moved to London from Australia, struggling with depression, and found a team which welcomed him, helped him get fit again and, ultimately, introduced him to his future husband. As well a...
American Song Contest to be premiered next 21st March
closeUp, Culture, Eurovision

American Song Contest to be premiered next 21st March

NBC - the American broadcaster which will organize the US's version of the Eurovision Song Contest - had delayed the launch of the contest and it shall now premiere on 21st March, after a surge of Covid-19 cases in the country. The Grand Final is scheduled to air on Monday 9th May, one day before the First Semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. The contest will feature original songs and performances representing all 50 states, plus the capital and five US territories, where the winner will get the prize for Best Original Song. 'American Song Contest’ is produced by an incredible team, composed by Audrey Morrissey, Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman, Ola Melzig, and Gregory Lipstone alongside Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens.
PHILADELPHIA – the film about AIDS and Gay Love that shook the world.
closeUp, Culture, Society

PHILADELPHIA – the film about AIDS and Gay Love that shook the world.

Maybe too few young LGBT+ friends know, remember or have even ever watched this movie, but Philadelphia was and still is one of the first movies that opened the eyes of the world on the stigma of AIDS, Homosexuality and the gay community. On this World Aids Day I am willing to take you back in time, to when in 1993 (Europe saw it in 1994) Philadelphia (the movie) was released in the cinemas across the USA, touching the hearts of so many people, and talking about a very harsh, too often unspoken, issue: HIV stigma and homosexuality.  It is a movie that is hard to face, especially in some scenes, and because of the language used in it: but it is part of the real world that LGBT+ and HIV+ people had to face in those years. A movie that I remember having watched several times and different...
Santa’s Gay Love is what we all need for Christmas
closeUp, Culture, News, Society

Santa’s Gay Love is what we all need for Christmas

Santa Claus pictured in a gay-love relationship in this heartwarming Norwegian tv spot, and marks 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Norway (1972). The Norwegians Postal Services this year decided that yes, they wanted to promote their (apparently very reliable and on time) services, but they also wanted to touch the heart of millions of people… and not only in Norway. The clip depicts the developing and always stronger relationship between Santa Claus and another man, who he visits each Christmas over a number of years. https://youtu.be/tyQ6qD-u-J8 The clip is impressive, not only because it pictures Santa Claus in love with a man, but because it also touches themes which are very delicate and too many times left unspoken, such as loneliness and that feelin...
ABBA said their last goodbyes with “Voyage”
closeUp, Culture, Eurovision

ABBA said their last goodbyes with “Voyage”

The Swedish iconic band ABBA, Eurovision 1974 winners with "Waterloo", released a last studio album called "Voyage", after almost 40 years had passed. Voyage features the sort of tunes one would expected from ABBA: catchy dance pop tracks, mixing with a few emotional romantic ballads. However, as they got older, also did their register, as you can feel that this work shows a more mature version of the band. "Don't Shut Me Down", "Just a Notion" and "I Still Have Faith in You" are some of singles you can listen from probably the greatest and most surprising comeback of all-time in pop industry. Their album already broke records and went straight to UK TOP 10! You can feel and join their revival journey through the Voyage digital concert series which will run 6 nights a week from Ma...
Film recommendation: Ammonite
closeUp, Culture, Entertainment

Film recommendation: Ammonite

Ammonite, the second feature from Francis Lee (God’s Own Country) is now available on Amazon Prime and is a gentle yet harsh, deep and earthy yet sensual film which merits more than one viewing. In 1840s Dorset, self-taught fossil-hunter Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) is now in her 40s, ignored by the (male) scientific world, reduced to selling her finds to tourists to support herself and her ailing mother (Gemma Jones). Pompous Londoner Roderick Murchison entrusts his wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) to Anning’s tutelage, to distract Charlotte from her depression after what we surmise to be the loss of a baby. Initially Anning is resentful of this soft Londoner, trying to befriend her across a social chasm and despite their very different personalities. But when Charlotte falls ill and Ma...
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